Expansion of Rail Trail Continues, County Wide Use on the Horizon
Construction on the newest section of the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail is underway.
The paved bike path, popular with not just bikers, but runners, rollers bladers, and walkers, currently runs from the Lanesborough's Rt. 8 entrance,12.7 miles north into the Town of Adams. Last month construction began on the trail's most recent expansion, south into Pittsfield.
The newest extension of the trail will be a 1.56-mile stretch that runs south of the vicinity of Berkshire Mall Connector Road entrance to Crane Ave in Pittsfield, ending at John's Building Supply at 1 Crane Ave. The trail will remain the 10-feet wide, shared used path as in previous miles, but there will be a new parking lot and restrooms constructed on the southern side of the street.
The newest portion of the trail will travel along Route 8 for several hundred feet and then around the boundaries of Unistress Construction yard. It will then go back up to the former Housatonic Railroad rail bed and then continue on the old rail bed straight down to Crane Ave, iBerkshires reports.
Local construction company Maximilian Industries was awarded the Pittsfield project and while construction was scheduled to begin earlier in 2020 there were some project delays including major setbacks stemming from the pandemic.
Construction is expected to be a yearlong project with the hopes that it will be open to public use by Spring 2022
Ultimately the long-range vision of the project is for the path to become a true county-wide bike trail, running from Williamstown to Great Barrington. This is the third expansion of the path, which was originally just over 10 miles, but has since been extended further north past the Visitors Center in Adams. Further growth is in the works for both the north and south ends of the trail with a one-mile North Adams leg in the planning stages, a Williamstown section already out to bid, and the continuation through Pittsfield into Lenox, Stockbridge, and Great Barrington on the horizon.
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